Horror. Worldview. Faith.

Drag Me To Hell – Review

Drag Me To Hell – Review

Jan 3, 2010

reviewed by Hallo

directed by Sam Raimi, 2009
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Sam Raimi is a great director.  Perhaps such a simplistic and painfully obvious statement is not the most effective way to draw in my readers, but sometimes the obvious needs to be made clear from the outset.  His work crosses a number of genres, including the rabidly popular Spiderman movies.  From what I can tell, he is in the development of remaking his own movie – again!  Apparently there is an Evil Dead movie in production as I type.  Evil Dead II was in essence a remake of Evil Dead with a slightly larger budget.  Now it appears he is doing it again.

Anyway, Drag Me To Hell has nothing new to offer in terms of plot development, story-telling, and thrills.  There is no question that this is a Sam Raimi movie, you can see his handiwork all over the place, especially in the scenes that involve gore; there are multiple kick-backs to the Evil Dead series, including projectile zombie parts that end up in someone’s mouth!  The ending is predicted a good half hour before the film ends with no real surprises in store for the viewer.

Having said all that, what makes this film interesting is the premise upon which the gore, supernatural seances, curses, gypsies, and all the rest is based.   It is a story about an economic crisis vs. the financial and professional success of the working class.  What do good people do when faced with the opportunity to help someone when it might cost them a rise to the top of their profession?  That is exactly what Christine Brown must decide when an old gypsy comes into her bank asking for an extension on her mortgage.  In this way, Raimi sets up a fantastic parallel between the good and evil that accompany demons and humans, and the good and evil that accompany working in the business world.  One of the elements of horror that makes it work is that we know who to root for.  In this story, the “evil” of the business world is Christine, although she is the “good” of the actual horror tale.  Interesting.  After deciding to deny the poor lady the extension, which impressed her boss, the gypsy places a curse on Allison that sends a demon to torment her for three days, followed by “dragging her to hell.”  What follows is the chaos of  Christine’s newly acquired curse and her attempts to both destroy it and yet still appear to have everything all together to her boss and boyfriend.  Much of the story just doesn’t come together.  After an extended scene involving a dramatic and complex seance (which included goats), we discover that it had no real effect and Christine still has to get rid of a button from her coat she was wearing when the gypsy afflicted her before she can get rid of the curse.  So why the seance?  Things like that might drive some viewers crazy.  For me, it is just all part of the good fun of Sam Raimi and his beautiful ability to create memorable scenes.

This movie is worth a look, just don’t expect to find anything too refreshing in the horror elements themselves.  Perhaps the real horror is the greed of the financial world.

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